In another great moment here at Canes Country, the franchise-defining deal announced today with Cam Ward has been subjected to detailed speculation and informed opinionat-ing by many of us here during the off-season. So it comes as no surprise to this blog's readers that this was likely in the works and the terms would be huge. However, though it's fresh, I found the breaking news analysis of the story around the NHL is intriguing.
TSN's NHL page: Hurricanes sign Ward to six-year, $37.8 million extension.
ESPN: nothing yet (sigh)
The Hockey News: nothing yet
Nhl.com: nothing but the announcement
Hmmm. Oh well, never mind. Turning locally:
Luke DeCock Ward's Contract: what does it mean?
UPDATED: from CanesNow Cole on New Deal: He earned it
Last, from Cam's Radio spot Tuesday on WRAL 99.9 the Fan: Ward ready for regular season to start - WRALSportsFan.com . Interview with today's news headliner. No subtle hints about the contract. And, BTW, looks like they're going with C-Ward and A-Ward for now.
The official announcement and press conference is at 1pm and is going to be streamed at the Canes Website. And likely in the CanesVision archives shortly thereafter. Harwood will also be in attendance.
UPDATE: Here's the link to the press conference if you had trouble streaming it live.
The storm is brewing alright, and the media blitz promised by the Canes Press team, in anticipation of Opening night in 2 days and 7 hours, is swirling around. I feel a little like Fellow Caniac and my favorite weather guru Greg Fishel, on one those afternoons in July, trying to keep up with all of it. Here ya go:
From TSN: video of Aaron Ward and Scott Walker discussing "the punch" and agreeing to blame Matt Cullen.
From WRAL Video - post-practice interview Tuesday with Paul Maurice. They also have video with Eric Staal, Captain Rod Brind`Amour, and Erik Cole.
From last November, but seemed appropriate today, I liked this quick Q&A with Cam Ward: Ask Anything: 10 questions with Hurricanes' Goalie Cam Ward :: WRAL.com
Canes Defenseman Tim Gleason will be at Tyler's Taproom in Apex with Mike Maniscalco for the first Canes Corner at 7pm tonight. (And they have a new autograph policy. Not sure about photo ops)
Other stories that build on comments here on the blog and that might interest you:
NHL : Top 10: 2008/09 NHL Moments - Jussi Jokinen's 00.00.2 sec goal in Game 4 vs New Jersey makes the selection. Brodeur's tantrum in included for posterity
Not sure where you all are with your Fantasy League Draft, but TSN has put together a video so you can study up for the big event. Good luck folks!
In an effort to help you see every Hurricanes game you possibly can on TV (the next best thing to being there):
Here's a link for NHL Center Ice | Time Warner Cable | Carolinas.
The NHL is openly choosing sides in the dispute between Direct TV and Versus: Open letter to DirecTV fans - NHL.com - As Harwood put it so eloquently earlier this month, "We'll get right on that".
I also will note the fanpost on the right courtesy of packspigskinfan25 suggesting another strategy to watch more hockey on DirectTV, which, quite nicely, does nothing to assist Versus.
In light of the discussion on the decision to send Sutter back to Albany.
Here's a video spotlight on Leaf's rookie and preseason leading goal-scorer Viktor Stalberg, again from TSN. This would be the demo film on how you take away a spot from a veteran on the roster. (My favorite did-they-really-say-that quote: "In the new Burke era, players will be held accountable and jobs are on the line." They just now got that ?)
Luke DeCock of the N&O gives his take on the decision: Sutter better served playing in AHL this season
And Chip Alexander followed up yesterday with this piece. With more comments from Jim Rutherford on Sutter:
"The best way to look at Brandon is that even if we were to keep him here right now, and he certainly played well enough to be here, does it do him any good playing on the fourth line and does it prepare him to be the player and be in the position we want him to be?" Rutherford said. "The best preparation for him to become a No. 2 center is to be playing. So it's more about the development of where he should be slotted in on this team in the near future."
So where is Matt Cullen going next year? To the 3rd line or another team? Any predictions?
Last, with all the congratulations in the air for the Staal family upon the arrival of baby-Parker last week, I thought I'd mention another proud papa we know and love around here. John Forslund's son Matthew has been selected to tend goal for Carolina Youth Hockey at the Peewee (ages 11 and 12) tournament in Quebec this year. CYAH: Quebec Tryouts Complete - from the Hurricanes' Paul Strand:
Matthew has made a steady climb as a goaltender the past few years and is widely recognized as one of the hardest-working goalies in the youth ranks. Matthew attends the Hurricanes' summer camp each year and has definitely earned this spot through his hard work. His tryout was nothing short of spectacular.